Monday, February 28, 2011

The sewing machine has not beaten me.

This is the sewing machine Tena H has loaned me.
like, MONTHS ago.


I'm a little intimidated by it. I've never used a sewing machine before in my life. I have no idea how to even start.

I felt incredibly brave and crafty a week ago so I got the box out of my closet, set it up and started looking at the instructions.

First off, I should mention their was purple thread sort of on the top part (don't you love my technical terminology?) and there was green thread coming out of the top of the base. Thanks, mom. That was enough to confuse the hell out of me right there.

So, I call her at work.

"Why is there thread coming out of two places?"

"That's just how sewing machines work."

"Well, shouldn't they be the same color? I mean, if they're both going on the fabric shouldn't they match?"


"well, it really confuses me that they don't."

"I was probably doing some sort of project where I needed to see both stitches. I don't remember. It's been so long since I've used it."

"Really? Because it's confusing and the pictures in the directions don't match what the sewing machine looks like. I'm really frustrated that I can't figure this out. I had no idea it'd be this hard."

"I knew I'd get a call like this once you finally took the machine out of the box."


So soon I'll be taking the sewing machine back for a tutorial. Should be interesting. I still don't have any concrete ideas for anything I need to sew. I found a lot of pillow cases in the linen closet so I'm in no rush to make Son pillow cases. Eh, we'll see.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The seeds are surviving!

It's been about two weeks and so far so good.

In every cup (but the two on the left hand side that are partially cut off) have growing thriving plants in them. HURRAY. And the two on the left have been replanted. One cup was tomatoes and the other was melons.
(picture taken Saturday)
It's been excited. I've been worried about over watering. And I've been taking them outside to sit in the sun every day (seriously).

I'm also anxiously awaiting the basil plants to get put out so we can buy those and get started. What I love so much about getting basil plants instead of starting seeds (we did both last year) was the instant gratification. Seriously, you bring those babies home and they are ready to harvest immediately. Because of Husband's intense love for my homemade pesto, I'm doubling the amount of basil plants we're growing this year. That will definitely help build the freezer stash so he can enjoy in further into the winter.

We're also making our own tomato cages this season instead of building the rickety ones from a garden shop. I'm excited. We're modeling them after some that my parents have had over 25 years that my mom's dad made for them. It's a great feeling to know we're going to be building something that will last. (Even if it's just sturdy tomato cages)

(and speaking of building sturdy things, I really hope I'll have 5 or 6 blog posts in the future about just that topic)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

It's a measuring day ...

... but I'm not measuring today. So instead of looking at some names of body parts and their corresponding numbers, look at these cute kids.
Why no measuring today? Well, because for the last few weeks I have been such a slacker. I can tell ZERO difference in my body and I'd rather not take the chance of getting down because the numbers went up.

I've spent drastically less time on the weight bench and the elliptical. But on the up side we've been outside A LOT.

We've gone hiking twice. Walking (a 5k) three times and running (the couch to 5k program) three times. The weather has been too nice to stay in on the elliptical. But My knees and hips have been begging me to just sit and crochet instead of getting on the elliptical on non-running days.

I ordered some new running shoes. So that's nice. Nothing fancy or special. Just a pair of New Balances that are in the "performance running" category. And they were on sale and I had a coupon. So that makes it better too. I'm excited for them to arrive and hopefully I'll get a little relief on my knees and hips.

I have scheduled (but not signed up for) my first 5k of the season. March19th, It's the Clay House 5k in the Bham area if anyone is interested in joining. I will definitely not be ready in the sense that I will be able to run the entire thing (I'll only be on week 6 of C25K by then) but it'll be the last 5k I can enter before my 30th birthday. I'd like to give it a go.

Friday, February 25, 2011

She got her pink scarf

Sunday we stopped by Jo-ann to pick up some sale yarn to finish a couple of projects. The Lion Brand Homespun was on sale. So I picked up a few different colors. (one being "Parfait" a white yarn with different shades of pink running through it. love it.)

Daughter asked for pink yarn for a new scarf but I told her no. For the main reason that I still haven't made the blue scarf she requested three weeks ago and for the secondary reason that she said the reason she wanted the pink yarn is because pink is her favorite color. That's all well and good that she declared pink her favorite color but she also declares red, orange, blue and yellow her favorite color quite regularly. So no pink yarn for the fickle daughter. She can get her pink yarn after I make the blue scarf.

Today I finished the two parfait scarves. As I was tying them off and stitching the ends, Daughter runs end, gasps, grabs the pink scarf, holds is up to her cheek and says, "Oh thank you, Mommy. A pink scarf just for me."

Yes, just for you. Just what I intended. (cough cough)


Saturday, February 19, 2011

I love: Diary Milk

I don't eat chocolate very much. But when I do, I savor it. Milk chocolate, ftw. My favorite chocolate used to be the mini-cadbury chocolate eggs. I think they also may be been called mini-chocolate eggs {maybe}. They are solid milk chocolate eggs about the size of a peanut m&m covered in a thick pastel candy shell. You can only buy them around Easter and I can hardly find them then.

Enter Diary Milk. The same chocolate, except I can find it year round. niiiice.

Friday, February 18, 2011

"Let ME check"

Daughter actually said this three times before I got out the camera and recorded it.

She thinks it's hilarious and has watched it at least a dozen times. She cackles like a maniac when she blows the house down.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Seed Planting Time

Our seeds. First attempt. And hopefully the last for 2011.

If you weren't reading a year ago or don't keep precise notes about my life or you're not Tina, you've probably forgotten that I almost lost my mind this time last year over dirt and seeds. Thanks to Daughter and Gracie, we had to plant our seeds THREE times.

I found a sturdy (on clearance) container to hold everything and I upgraded the containers to old yogurt, cottage cheese and sour cream containers we've been saving all year. There's still a couple containers in the fridge that I need to empty and run through the dishwasher so I can fill.

The Jeremy Giant tomatoes, Juliet tomatoes, Marketmore 76 cucumbers and the Livingston muskmelons.

Everything else (the crook neck squash, the butternut squash, the fennel, the onions and the carrots) can go directly into the garden after last frost.

The jury is still out on Husband's rhubarb. We'll have to find the "right" place for it before I start it.

I am getting antsy about the basil. Our Wal-mart is getting the garden center ready for the plants to arrive and as soon as they do, IT'S BASIL TIME. (plus the kids' tommy toe plant)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Sunday RUN Day (or how I almost killed myself 2 days ago)

Sunday after the park and a trip to Wal-mart for soil to start my seeds for the garden. I had the brilliant idea to run outside.

I've been on the elliptical for 30 minutes a day, 5 or 6 times a week for a month and a half. Surely, I could handle week 4 of couch to 5k. surely.

surely. NOT.

I forgot how much of running is mental. And skipping to week 4 is like skipping an entire month of preparing mentally. I also forgot how HIGH impact running is. burning 400 calories in 30 minutes on the elliptical is like taking a bubble bath in clouds when compared to running on pavement. seriously.

My lungs were like, "It's 65 degrees out here. WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO US?!?"
My calves and quads were like, "This hurts. This hurts a lot. We're going to make you pay for this for days."
My feet were like, "Those insoles are crap. You need to buy new shoes."
My stomach was like, "Stop or you'll be sorry." I threw up five minutes later and they mocked a little more, "See, I told you."

The stomach evacuation meant I missed one of the 4 runs. But Husband ... Husband was a rock star. He had the double stroller with two sleeping kids in it and still completed it. He did amazing. He pushes me for sure.

The kids after we finished. Son just starting to wake up.

Husband resting.

Me pretending that I'm mostly ok.

time to replace. insoles or no insoles.

I asked Daughter is she wanted to get out and run and she said, "maybe later." I reclined her seat so she could get a little more comfortable.

loving on Son. waiting on Daughter to wake up.

Finally awake and ready to go. I love how Son runs a little like Phoebe Buffay. He's all out.
Unfortunately, he's also a little clumsy. And Daughter got a little too close. Son tripped. Daughter was right behind him and landed on him. There were tears. But no broken skin.

After a short break to listen to music by the big tree they were ready to run again.

After his fall, Son only wanted to run while holding Husband's hand.
I was happy that even after they fell neither kid wanted to go back to the car.

Daughter got to decide our path because she was the first runner.

Husband wanted me to take this picture and he made sure to ask if I lined up the sun between the trees. (yes, I did.)
We ended up doing the 30 minutes of intervals of week 4 and then we kept walking (5 laps is 3.3 miles. a 5k is 3.1) to finish 5 laps plus let the kids sleep a little longer. Then they wanted to run an almost entire lap.

It was fun, but wow, I my quads are still so sore. Even after stretching and time on the elliptical yesterday. Husband is coming home a little early today so we can run again. I think I'm going back to WEEK ONE!!!

Sunday Fun Day at the Park

First, Husband surprised me yesterday by writing his first post to the blog. I was slightly shocked that it was only 4% inappropriate. He does have quite a way with words.

Second, we took over 400 pictures on Sunday. I managed to get it narrowed down the 20 for this post.

After breakfast we asked Daughter where she would like to go on an adventure and she said, "LI-BERRY" unfortunately, we'd have to drive 45 minutes to get to a library that's open on Sunday. So I asked if the "see-saw park" would be a good idea. (We identify parks by distinguishing features. The park by our house is the "purple dinosaur park" and the park in the city I grew up in is "mommy park" -- it also has a purple dinosaur)

Both kids started cheering. We got dressed and off we went. Windows down. Heaven.

crawling with Baby

they refused to see-saw with each other ... so ...

... Husband helped.

Those two crossed the creek for some Daddy/Daughter see-sawing.
There are 5 sets of see-saws at this park. Hence, our name for it.


Over the winter, the Parks Board put cross ties and pebbles around all the play equipment. Daughter picked out all the meteors. (yes, seriously) Here she is showing off the "meteors" she found.

sigh. I love when they slow down long enough for a picture with me.

I had to catch him, but it still counts.

Three of my favorite 6 blue eyes. (I'm the only one in the family with green eyes. I'm also the only one in the family not wearing horizontal stripes at the park)

the big slide

swinging with a new friend. This little girl told me all kinds of stories about how they are staying with Darlene because they can't go back to their house because Daddy hits Mommy in the mouth and makes her bleed. Broke my heart. It also broke my heart that whoever took them to the park stayed in the car the entire time leaving the 5 year old and her 3 year old little brother to fend for themselves.
On a happier note: Son did fantastic in the regular swing.

looking for more meteors

she pushed him for about 3 minutes. In toddler time, that's about 45 minutes. They both loved it and she wouldn't let me help and she declined the offer to ride along and let me push.

a mean face.

a sweet face

refusing to take turns. Daughter won. as usual.


under the slide

two hours later, we were ready to leave.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

It’s Valentine’s Day, and it’s a day that’s supposed to be about celebrating love. Well, if you know me well enough, you know that I hate – hate – virtually any and all holidays/observances. To think that there should be a special day dedicated to something that I should be mindful of each and every day seems ludicrous to me. Probably the most inane holidays to me are Christmas and Valentine’s. Do I really need a special occasion to focus the energies that I should be devoting each and every day on my Lord or significant other? And, that anything short of those deserved efforts is essentially lack of appreciation.
But the truth of the matter is, whether it is a byproduct of the centrifugal force started by the Big Bang (the moment CAR and I first got together), or partially/wholly by my egocentric focus and general lack of attentiveness, there does need to be a day to refocus me on CAR and the love I have for her.
As many know, CAR and I met due to my horniness, charm and the good fortune of having some common Judson connections. From the time we began talking to the time we knew we wanted to get married at most was ~ two months. Within another three months, she had moved in. Within another five months, we were married and pregnant. Tack on another pregnancy with several months after the first popped out, microwave, and here we are. Thus, justifiably or not, we really rarely get to focus on each other – justifiably or not. Between everything that goes along with kids, managing the finances of a single income family, etc. we are all too often consumed by life instead of enjoying each moment with each other.
The few days a week, if any at all, that we get to spend with each other, I can tell that we appreciate the other more than we do at any other time during the week – because nothing else is going on except us being a family. Bedtimes are relaxed, because our schedules are relaxed. The kids know that dad will be up on weekend mornings cooking breakfast. The days that ROS wakes up and asks, “Where is my daddy?” are a lot less fun for everyone than when I am at home. I have more energy, and I don’t have to balance play time with the kids, couple time with CAR, or trying to refresh on my own.
During all of this CAR is the glue that holds everything together – from the kids, to me, to the finances – everything. Each day, CAR gets little other than complimentary and obligatory praise from the three of us. In retrospect, I think one of the cruelest jokes I’ve recently made was daydreaming about our life if we had “waited” to have kids. A household flush with cash, a happening night life, vacations, our pre-pregnant bodies were all mentioned in my joke.
The truth is that CAR has sacrificed the most for our family and gets the least amount of appreciation. Yeah, my job sucks, but at the same time its not like anything has held me back from getting another one other than the shitty job market and some horrible interviews on my part – that and a few hundred thousand Alabama Democrats. CAR left her home, job, family (though ours is much better), youth and comfort to love me, ROS and FAS.
All of the sex, booze, gifts and niceties of one day or 365 cannot in any way symbolize my love, appreciation and respect for CAR. I’m grateful for Valentine’s Day because it does give me the slap in the face that I need daily to get off my ass and tell CAR how much I love her and how much she does for me.
I regret every day that’s passed which I have not, for whatever reason, told CAR how I truly feel about her.
I was looking for an easy, routine lay from some hot girl that I first found. Little did I know that I'd find my soul-mate. By that time she became my spiritual partner for life. I still think CAR is crazy, sexy, cool. And, she is the one that puts a bounce in my step and my bed. She saved me from myself, and each day she gives me reason for living, and living in a relative state of sobriety.
At times we've struggled with each other, and life with each other. But I can't imagine a moment forward in my life without her. She's more than I was looking for, she's exactly what I needed, she fills perfectly the imperfect parts of me.

***Special citation to Tiffany Self Lopez who suggested that I submit a blog on Valentine's Day.

I love: what-EVER!

I used to save money by using a vinegar/water mixture in a spray bottle as my all purpose cleaner. It worked. I was satisfied. And it was cheap.

A few months ago I discovered this at Whole Foods (or Whole Paycheck, whatever). I was looking for something to get crayon off our walls, so I wouldn't have to paint. I found this and I LOVE IT. I use it for everything now. (except I still use Grease Lightening to clean the oven hood -- Well, Husband usually does that actually)
It's $5 and some change, I think. But it truly is amazing. Give it a try if you're in search of something that cleans great, is a little more earth friendly and has a pleasant very light scent.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Spirits Sunday: Diseno

If you remember how I pick most wines (by their interesting label art) you'd know I probably didn't pick this one.

Husband got it at Winn-Dixie for $10.

It's the first Argentian wine I can remember having. We had it with steak, mashed potatoes and asparagus. And it was pretty fabulous. It's definitely something I'd like to have again.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

crochet lately

This is a little sample of the scarves I've finished the past couple of weeks.
I'm telling ya, my mother's coworkers LOVE these things.
cheaper than etsy!